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MLK observance
HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – Hanscom’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. committee members watch as Col. Juan Gaud, 66th Air Base Group deputy commander, signs a proclamation declaring a special day to remember King on base. An event will take place Jan. 12 at the base chapel from 10 to 11 a.m. (U.S. Air Force photo by Linda LaBonte Britt)
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MLK observances taking place on base, in community

Posted 1/6/2012   Updated 1/6/2012 Email story   Print story


by Sue Baldauf
Bedford Youth & Family Services director

1/6/2012 - BEDFORD, Mass. -- After what seems like a plethora of holidays that focus on eating, time off from work or school, spiritual traditions or family vacations, a holiday is coming up that recalls an individual and a life of service. The individual is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Hanscom will celebrate King's life by holding an event Jan. 12 from 10 to 11 a.m. at the base chapel. Lt. Col. Warren F. Bacote, Ft. Devens commander, will serve as the keynote speaker, Timothy Martin will provide a dramatic reading and the United Voices of New England Choir will provide music. The event is free and light refreshments will be provided. For more information, contact Andrea McKie at Andrea.Mckie@hanscom.af.mil.

In addition, a new tradition has sprung up as a result of the holiday, known as the "King Day of Service." Groups throughout the country plan projects designed to strengthen communities, empower individuals and bridge barriers to honor King's life of work toward equality for all.

King believed in a nation of freedom and justice for all and encouraged all citizens to live up to the purpose and potential of America by applying the principles of nonviolence to make this country a better place to live.

"Everybody can be great...because anybody can serve," King once said. "You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love."

The King Day of Service is a way to transform King's life and teachings into community service that helps solve social problems. That service may meet a tangible need, helping a neighbor whose spouse is deployed, or it may meet a need of the spirit, such as building a sense of community or mutual responsibility.

Locally, area residents have at least one option to serve. In Bedford on Jan. 16 there will be an "Interfaith Day of Service and Sharing," sponsored by Habitat for Humanity of Greater Lowell. The community is invited to participate from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The day begins at Habitat for Humanity's Bedford Carter Way Project at 130 North Road and finishes with lunch and roundtable discussion at St. Paul's Church, 100 Pine Hill Rd. Though all are welcome, RSVPs are required due to space limitations. RSVP to Dan Bush at Dbush@lowellhabitat.org or by phone at 978-692-0927. Suggested donation for lunch is $10.

Editor's Note: Matt Nicoli, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day committee member, contributed to this report.

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